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01-05-2013, 02:47 PM - 1 Like   #1
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K-30 with older lenses

Hi, I have just begun shooting with a DSLR and got a super tak 1:1.8 55mm lens which has totally changed the way I take pictures!

I was just wondering if people had any good tips for shooting with an older lens regarding things such as focusing, bracketing.. and any other general information it would be much appreciated and could develop into a useful resource for future beginners such as myself

01-05-2013, 04:05 PM   #2
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Some good information here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/110658-using-ma...x-dslrs-f.html

Also, the home of the Takumar club: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/31601-takumar-club.html

Focusing: You can use CIF catch in focus or just watch the green hex to see when the AF system thinks it is in focus. But in the long run you will be better off just learning and practicing manual focus. You can exchange the focusing screen to get one that works better with manual focus if you start to use those lenses more. You can use the A/M switch to set the aperture then open all the way up to focus and then stop back down to shoot. You can just turn the aperture ring as well, but then you have to learn to count clicks.

Exposure: Av mode will work but the metering is usually off. You can compensate for it with EV compensation but note that the error is different with different lenses and is not always linear. Otherwise use M mode and the green button to meter. Some people report using aluminum foil to short the contacts improves this but I just adjust the EV and keep going.

Hood: The coatings on most of the Takumars are good for the day but not as good as modern ones so a lens hood makes a big difference in reducing flare.
01-05-2013, 04:13 PM   #3
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Great lens. Did you get a lens hood with it? Some old lenses get a huge boost in IQ with a good lens hood.

For manual lenses you have to enable aperture ring usage in the menu and you're good to go. You can only shoot in M and Av mode. The way metering works depends on how "manual" the lens is. If the camera can operate its aperture, you can meter with the green button or shoot in Av mode (continuous metering, but will always be wide open). If your lens is a preset lens (you have to stop down by hand), then you can also shoot in Av and simply give the camera a second to meter with the lens stopped down and shoot. More info here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/110657-how-use-meter...k-x-k-7-a.html

Another great tool is catch in focus (also known as CiF and focus trapping). To do this, your lens has to short the AF contacts. You have to turn on AF on the camera and enable CiF in the menu, now you can just hold the shutter and the camera will fire when something is "in focus" (centre point). This can happen if something steps in front of the lens or if you slowly move the focus ring until something is in focus. You can also use burst mode here. Basically, this allows you to use the AF confirm on manual lenses.

To help with focusing, especially with old manual primes, you can read up on zone focusing and hyperfocal focusing. This can be a great technique when you know the approximate range where the subject will be or even for landscape photos.

Your camera also has focus peaking, you should enable it when you use fast primes. Liveview and focus peaking can be a big help with focusing.

And this is pretty much all I know. Have fun and be sure to post a couple "best of" photos in the critique section after you learn the ins and outs of the lens
01-05-2013, 04:25 PM   #4
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wow, exactly what I was looking for! thanks guys I will be sure to do some homework and get some shots posted asap

01-05-2013, 08:16 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info - I'm getting a K-30 soon myself and have a bunch of old lenses that I hope will work fine with them (most have the A setting, but some do not!)

Looking forward to seeing your shots, rmat...
01-07-2013, 03:11 PM   #6
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Although I generally dislike (actually, hate is a better word) using the LCD for framing, focus peaking has completely changed the way I use old manual lenses. That alone is worth the switch from an older dslr. No more fishing around for the right focus in the dark!

My oddball slow Soviet lenses have been given a new lease on life, too. So that's a huge bonus.
01-07-2013, 08:16 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Finn Quote
Although I generally dislike (actually, hate is a better word) using the LCD for framing, focus peaking has completely changed the way I use old manual lenses. That alone is worth the switch from an older dslr. No more fishing around for the right focus in the dark!

My oddball slow Soviet lenses have been given a new lease on life, too. So that's a huge bonus.
I can vouch for Finn's experience too. I find myself using a tripod more because you focus a manual lens so accurately with focus peaking, I even use is some with handheld shooting. I wish I had some of the manual lenses I sold because they were too hard to focus on the K20D.
I will also echo the comments on lens hoods, they are a must in my mind.
01-09-2013, 02:13 AM   #8
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Hey, I don't know if I am getting the focus peaking working because it seems like people are seeing a clear highlighted section. When I have used the viewfinder it does seem easier to put things in focus with the manual lense but is there a certain setting or does focus peaking happen automatically with older lenses on the k30?

here's some shots i took today, no PP done... any advice on composition or possiible PP adjustments?

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01-09-2013, 06:47 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Finn Quote
Although I generally dislike (actually, hate is a better word) using the LCD for framing, focus peaking has completely changed the way I use old manual lenses. That alone is worth the switch from an older dslr. No more fishing around for the right focus in the dark!

My oddball slow Soviet lenses have been given a new lease on life, too. So that's a huge bonus.
Can you describe what Focus peaking do?

As I recall it, when I tried it the screen went blank (or stopped updating the live view). I wonder if it is working correctly on my camera or if this is what is supposed to happen.
01-09-2013, 07:57 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jido Quote
Can you describe what Focus peaking do?

As I recall it, when I tried it the screen went blank (or stopped updating the live view). I wonder if it is working correctly on my camera or if this is what is supposed to happen.
Well, it is supposed to highlight the focal plane in LV...if you look through the VF it would be black because the mirror is up. Is that what you mean?
01-09-2013, 11:14 AM   #11
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Focus peaking works in live view and it highlights the parts of the frame that are recognized as in-focus. It works best with fast lenses, especially primes. it is very helpful with manual focusing. There are videos on youtube that show how it works, on the Pentax channel I think
01-10-2013, 02:09 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jido Quote
Can you describe what Focus peaking do?
As mentioned, focus peaking highlights the part of the image that will be in focus. Here is a short video of the K30 and focus peaking. Its not the best video but it shows you how it works. Id like to see Pentax change the colour of the highlighted area via a firmware update. White is hard to see at times.

01-11-2013, 08:49 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by curlednoodles Quote
As mentioned, focus peaking highlights the part of the image that will be in focus. Here is a short video of the K30 and focus peaking. Its not the best video but it shows you how it works. Id like to see Pentax change the colour of the highlighted area via a firmware update. White is hard to see at times.

Manual Focus and Focus Peaking; Pentax K30 - YouTube
All right, I think I got this to work. It does not work well at high ISO because nothing is very sharp though.
01-11-2013, 04:43 PM - 1 Like   #14
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Pentax K30 + Tamron 500mm SP f8 mirror lens.

Took this picture yesterday with my old 55B Tamron fully manual lens. Not nearly as good as a real prime but interesting results. Cropped to 4X6 and PP in Elements 11.
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01-15-2013, 10:50 AM   #15
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Apologies if this counts as a double post, but I saw this thread and thought that maybe those of you who frequent the K30 section more than the other sections might read this and be able to share your experiences.

In short, I'm having difficulty getting metering to work correctly on my K30 in M mode when using old M42 mount lenses. I followed what I think are all the suggestions for setting up the camera and the green button correctly. But when hit the green button, the shutter speeds sets itself to 1/500 sec indoors at night (or something equally ridiculous) and then won't change again. I posted additional details here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/110657-how-use-meter...ml#post2238201.

Has anyone else experienced this same issue? I'm getting ready to take this up with the Pentax warranty department, but am hoping against hope that someone can simply point to something I just did wrong.

Thanks!
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